Tag Archives: God with us

Martha #adventbookclub

(for those following along without the book, Martha is the name given by Stephen Cottrell to the Innkeepers wife)

Luke 2:1-7 (CEV)

The Birth of Jesus

About that time Emperor Augustus gave orders for the names of all the people to be listed in record books.These first records were made when Quirinius was governor of Syria.

Everyone had to go to their own hometown to be listed.So Joseph had to leave Nazareth in Galilee and go to Bethlehem in Judea. Long ago Bethlehem had been King David’s hometown, and Joseph went there because he was from David’s family.

Mary was engaged to Joseph and travelled with him to Bethlehem. She was soon going to have a baby, and while they were there, she gave birth to her first-born son. She dressed him in baby clothes and laid him on a bed of hay, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Imagine having to make that kind of journey whilst very pregnant.  It must have been exhausting.  I once moved house when 38 weeks pregnant and that was no fun.  On a very human level, I feel for Mary.

Nazareth to Bethlehem

Nazareth to Bethlehem is 163km or 101miles.  According to the directions, that’s a 34 hour walk – if you’re not pregnant!  They weren’t able to jump in their car.  There must have been worries about whether Mary would go into labour en-route.  It wasn’t a journey they chose to make, a last minute holiday before the baby arrived, or even a decision to go and have the baby amongst their relatives.  This was forced on them by bureaucracy.

But, somehow, or Gods-how it all came together.  Jesus was born in the right place at the right time, among the right people.

sometimes you call us
and lead us,
to set out on a journey with you.

We do not always understand it,
sometimes it is very frightening,
we cannot always see
where you are leading us,
but you take us faithfully.

And as we journey with you,
new possibilities are born,
your life comes to new places
and we are changed.

Be born in me today
as I journey with you

Join us reading Walking Backwards to Christmas by Stephen Cottrell from SPCK Publishing this advent.  Be part of #adventbookclub, share your thoughts here, on your own blog (and let us know we’ll link to it), on Twitter using #adventbookclub or on the Adventbookclub Facebook page

David ii #adventbookclub

Luke 2:8-17 (CEV)

The Shepherds

That night in the fields near Bethlehem some shepherds were guarding their sheep. All at once an angel came down to them from the Lord, and the brightness of the Lord’s glory flashed around them. The shepherds were frightened. 10 But the angel said, “Don’t be afraid! I have good news for you, which will make everyone happy. 11 This very day in King David’s hometown a Savior was born for you. He is Christ the Lord. 12 You will know who he is, because you will find him dressed in baby clothes and lying on a bed of hay.”

13 Suddenly many other angels came down from heaven and joined in praising God. They said:

14 “Praise God in heaven!
Peace on earth to everyone
who pleases God.”

15 After the angels had left and gone back to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see what the Lord has told us about.” 16 They hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and they saw the baby lying on a bed of hay.

17 When the shepherds saw Jesus, they told his parents what the angel had said about him.

These shepherds are the exact opposite of the star-seekers.  These are not learned men, readers of books, thinkers and leaders; these are men who lived by their wits, charged with keeping their sheep safe, by whatever means they could.  They were outdoor men, used to being on a hillside, living a wild life.

The beauty of Christmas, God’s coming to earth, is that he came to all.  He spoke in ways they could grasp and led them within their realms of experience.

Well bred, well read, well dressed people were welcome.  So too were rough and ready, straight from the fields people. Whoever we are, whatever our realm of experience or our way of life, God comes to us and welcomes us.

God comes, light in the darkness for one and all.  God with us.

As we reflect again
on the characters of the Christmas story,
we see how your coming,
your life,
your peace
is for each one.

For those who work with their hands
and those who study books;
for those of great standing
and those who society looks down on
or takes for granted.

God’s presence,
God’s love,
God’s peace
is for all.

Thank God!

 As it sinks in what that means for me,
may I live it in my life. 


Join us reading Walking Backwards to Christmas by Stephen Cottrell from SPCK Publishing this advent.  Be part of #adventbookclub, share your thoughts here, on your own blog (and let us know we’ll link to it), on Twitter using #adventbookclub or on the Adventbookclub Facebook page

One of Us #adventbookclub – Day 4

Luke 3:21-38 (CEV)

The Baptism of Jesus

21 While everyone else was being baptized, Jesus himself was baptized. Then as he prayed, the sky opened up, 22 and the Holy Spirit came down upon him in the form of a dove. A voice from heaven said, “You are my own dear Son, and I am pleased with you.”

I, Davezelenka [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) via Wikimedia Commons

The Ancestors of Jesus

23 When Jesus began to preach, he was about thirty years old. Everyone thought he was the son of Joseph. But his family went back through Heli, 24 Matthat, Levi, Melchi, Jannai, Joseph, 25 Mattathias, Amos, Nahum, Esli, Naggai, 26 Maath, Mattathias, Semein, Josech, Joda;

27 Joanan, Rhesa, Zerubbabel, Shealtiel, Neri, 28 Melchi, Addi, Cosam, Elmadam, Er, 29 Joshua, Eliezer, Jorim, Matthat, Levi;

30 Simeon, Judah, Joseph, Jonam, Eliakim, 31 Melea, Menna, Mattatha, Nathan, David, 32 Jesse, Obed, Boaz, Salmon, Nahshon;

33 Amminadab, Admin, Arni, Hezron, Perez, Judah, 34 Jacob, Isaac, Abraham, Terah, Nahor, 35 Serug, Reu, Peleg, Eber, Shelah;

36 Cainan, Arphaxad, Shem, Noah, Lamech, 37 Methuselah, Enoch, Jared, Mahalaleel, Kenan, 38 Enosh, and Seth.

The family of Jesus went all the way back to Adam and then to God.

If ever there was proof that Jesus was one of us…

Jesus joins in, he is baptised.  He doesn’t sit and watch others do it, he takes part too.  He joins with what they are doing.

And then we have his ancestry, his family line.  This is where Jesus has come from, who he is.

If ever there was proof that Jesus was God…

At his baptism the public recognition, a statement by God,

This is my own dear son

And in his family line, traceable “All the way back to Adam,

And then to God

This is no upstart, no charlatan, no fly-by-night imposter.  This is God, here, living with us, in a human form.

God was, and is, one of us.  Living the life we live, showing us his way to do it.

When we wonder at things, and wonder what God would do, we can look at Jesus and his life.  When we ask, but what if God were here – he is.  Here for each and every one of us, here with each one of us, in the lives that we lead day by day.  His presence is woven through the history of humanity, and it is woven through our history.

Jesus brings God to it, brings

wholeness, healing and completeness (p27)

What if God Were One of Us?

Thank You God,
for being One of Us,
coming to the world,
showing us your ways
in the life of Jesus.

Thank you for being willing to become like us
that we might see and understand
what your ways are.

Help me
to follow your example,
to learn to live your ways,

This year, several of us are reading Beginnings and Endings by Maggi Dawn and joining together to comment on it.  Do join us at the Adventbookclub Facebook page, follow #adventbookclub on Twitter or comment below.  If you are also reading and blogging on this book, let me know and I will link to your blog.